Bathurst pound partnership falls through

FUNDS have been set aside for an Orange City Council pound facility, but the council hopes a second round of expressions of interest could provide a solution.

Since the RSCPA shelter in William Street stopped taking strays in an effort to focus on animal welfare, the council has been working in partnership with Canobolas Family Pet Hospital as the initial drop-off point and a private boarding facility to house the animals unable to be reunited with their owners.

In a report to councillors, the transition was deemed a success in returning pets quickly and ensuring more animals were microchipped, however it was a short-term solution. 

Options explored included joining Bathurst Regional Council to build a joint facility, but quotes were all above budget.

“As Orange requires a solution relatively quickly, this option is now considered exhausted,” the report said. 

The council also considered retrofitting an existing industrial shed, but making a building fit a specialised use was deemed problematic and would not save the council a significant amount of money. 

The third option was to build a shelter on an empty site and $1.5 million has been set aside for the 2018-19 financial year. 

However, the report said there could be private interest in the area to host a facility and further expression of interest would be sought.

“[The] process will be undertaken again to fully exhaust this option and determine if indeed there is interest locally in providing and operating a pound facility and also if this would have economic benefits to council,” the report said. 

The results will be reported back to the council. 

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